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Neighbor stopped by...
#2465652 10/02/15 10:10 AM
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She told me that my playing is a problem. There are neighbors who have a newborn and my playing is keeping the baby up, and another family had a cat that was sitting nicely on a lap until they heard my piano. Apparently they had a whole neighborhood meeting just to discuss what they should say to me.

I told her that I try to close the windows when I practice late and will be better about it, and let's talk about a solution? She strongly hinted that everyone wanted me to just get rid of my piano. At the end of the conversation, I was in tears, and she said "do whatever" and then left. I had loved living in this house up until this point, and contemplated moving.

And then I woke up.

IT WAS JUST A BAD DREAM.

Last edited by twocats; 10/02/15 10:55 AM.

2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: Neighbor stopped by...
twocats #2465659 10/02/15 10:26 AM
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Refresh our memories - do you live in a detached home? Homeowners association or not? What are the HOA rules, and noise laws where you live?


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Re: Neighbor stopped by...
twocats #2465661 10/02/15 10:37 AM
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It was just a bad dream, not real! Was pretty upsetting but I'm gonna play EXTRA loud tonight! smile

Our neighbors have had much louder parties than me playing piano at home, and in real life, they're all really nice.


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: Neighbor stopped by...
twocats #2465664 10/02/15 10:41 AM
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But it's a detached home built in the 1920's and the sounds from outside got hugely reduced after we had new windows put in. Sometimes I do play until after 11pm but I don't think it's a problem. At least, I hope not!


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: Neighbor stopped by...
twocats #2465667 10/02/15 10:43 AM
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This is the reason I purchased a digital piano. I'm curious to how your cats respond when you play? Or, were you simply sleeping with your cats? Perhaps your cats are playing your piano as you are busy dreaming? Some dreams come true, beware -

Keep on playing - Enjoy


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
Re: Neighbor stopped by...
twocats #2465668 10/02/15 10:47 AM
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Okay, lets see if I've got this right... did the neighbor actually talk with you about the piano playing and related annoyance; or, was it actually just a bad dream and not real? I'm confused. (Which happens a lot here lately, it seems smile )

Rick


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Re: Neighbor stopped by...
Rickster #2465677 10/02/15 11:04 AM
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Haha Rickster, sorry for the confusion. I guess my dramatic narrative as I had experienced it wasn't clear. I went back and edited my original post! (I also recently had a "I'm gonna fail my exams and not graduate from college" dream... my friend's aunt who must be around 60 says she still has those from time to time as well! Probably I'm just worried about some stuff that I don't have any control over.)

Dave, my cats largely ignore my piano. But you guessed right, they were sleeping with me as I had this bad dream. They didn't do their usual job of waking me up!


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: Neighbor stopped by...
twocats #2465678 10/02/15 11:10 AM
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Okay, I see you edited your thread to make it clear that it WAS just a bad dream. I would imagine that was more of a nightmare. smile

My nearest neighbor is about 300 feet away (length of a football field). He's told me on more than one occasion that he hears my piano playing at times when things are quiet at his place. He said he loves to hear me play and asked if I'd teach his 10 year old son piano lessons (for real smile ). I told him I'd be glad to show him what little I know, but I'm certainly not a piano teacher. grin

I wouldn't worry about the neighbors... just play and enjoy!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Neighbor stopped by...
Rickster #2465693 10/02/15 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Okay, I see you edited your thread to make it clear that it WAS just a bad dream. I would imagine that was more of a nightmare. smile

My nearest neighbor is about 300 feet away (length of a football field). He's told me on more than one occasion that he hears my piano playing at times when things are quiet at his place. He said he loves to hear me play and asked if I'd teach his 10 year old son piano lessons (for real smile ). I told him I'd be glad to show him what little I know, but I'm certainly not a piano teacher. grin

I wouldn't worry about the neighbors... just play and enjoy!

Rick

Yes, it was quite a nightmare!

I'll definitely play and enjoy unless I get a real-life complaint. No sense in worrying unless someone give you an actual reason to!


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: Neighbor stopped by...
twocats #2465697 10/02/15 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by twocats
Haha Rickster, sorry for the confusion. I guess my dramatic narrative as I had experienced it wasn't clear.

I was totally there with the dramatic narrative, Twocats!

Quote
(I also recently had a "I'm gonna fail my exams and not graduate from college" dream... my friend's aunt who must be around 60 says she still has those from time to time as well! Probably I'm just worried about some stuff that I don't have any control over.)


I get that one too about high school AND university. Never got to the bottom of it, but I get it every now and then. We're all works in progress.

Re: Neighbor stopped by...
ando #2465699 10/02/15 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by twocats
(I also recently had a "I'm gonna fail my exams and not graduate from college" dream... my friend's aunt who must be around 60 says she still has those from time to time as well! Probably I'm just worried about some stuff that I don't have any control over.)

I get that one too about high school AND university. Never got to the bottom of it, but I get it every now and then. We're all works in progress.

That's really funny! At least I've always graduated from high school wink


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: Neighbor stopped by...
twocats #2465708 10/02/15 02:08 PM
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Distance kills sound according to a prescribed ratio, the inverse square law*. Most communities have noise ordinance, many with a db specification at a certain distance or at the property line. Why do I mention this? Because there is no "right" to silence anywhere or at anytime. I live in an area where there's 3 house remodels happening on every block at any one time. What do you think would happen if I marched over there and said, "Your hammers and saws are a bother. I expect you to stop." I lived next to a school for a time. Could I request that the kids shut up because I didn't feel like hearing it? I hear my neighbors kids all the time. I hear the other neighbor scream at his wife. I hear the back neighbor doing woodworking right up to 10:00. Why is acoustic music practice the whipping boy that anyone from a cranky new mom to a petulant condo manager feel they can just command it to stop yet when I lived at a condo, the board told a tenant that hearing other people's T.V. on a warm night when the windows were open was, "normal" and they didn't intend to do anything about it.

* sound loses power at a ratio of 6db for every doubling of distance. 3 db is half the power but only a small change in volume. It takes a loss of 10db to be perceived as "half" as loud. This is only theoretical and assumes a completely free field with no reflective surfaces. When Rick's neighbor hears the piano when it's quiet, it almost certainly the result of cold, denser air over air still warmed by the earth. The denser air creates enough of a differential to hold the sound in and let it travel further since it doesn't lose power shooting up to the sky. It only happens when it's calm because a breeze disperses and mixes the air so the inversion layer can't exist. This of course, is the engineering behind every horn loaded speaker and the the pianist *almost* always sits stage right with the lid opened to reflect sound to the audience.

Kurt


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Re: Neighbor stopped by...
KurtZ #2465712 10/02/15 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by KurtZ
Why is acoustic music practice the whipping boy that anyone from a cranky new mom to a petulant condo manager feel they can just command it to stop yet when I lived at a condo, the board told a tenant that hearing other people's T.V. on a warm night when the windows were open was, "normal" and they didn't intend to do anything about it.
[...]
Kurt

I have my theory about it. It involves mainly four factors:
1) the repetitive nature of practice, the same pattern is heard over and over, so it's the same piece over days if not weeks transforming it in something that will keep playing in your head even when there is nobody actually playing. This usually get also music lovers because in this case they don't have any control about what gets repeated.
2) It's not being seen as a necessity but as a pleasure for the player. Non musicians and even a good amount of connoisseur of classical music don't appreciate the "effort", instead they get bothered. Feeling that intensify when they think that what is annoying them, is actually giving pleasure to you.
3) It's not a "standard" activity by any means. While watching TV or movies, even loudly is something that is considered "normal", playing piano or violin or trombone is not. Even somebody who doesn't relate in the annoyance/pleasure relationship, still feel that "is not normal" to play so much... when, by absurd, a normal action movie is about 2 hours with pretty intense sound effects, on a good home theater system the dB are in excess of what any home sized piano can produce at any time.
4) pure and simple envy. Some people are just miserable by definition and they like to try stop other people from enjoying their life. We have some idiots sabotaging our MTB trails around here and some people got hurt. I remember having people complaining about kids playing by the community pool, pool that was present when they bought their house. Or people that are just jerks.

Unfortunately, it is what it is.

Re: Neighbor stopped by...
twocats #2465713 10/02/15 02:38 PM
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Twocats, I used to worry about this. I would play until 2AM. I have a LOT of acoustic treatment in the piano room and I live in a regular detached house, though the properties are close together. My neighbor behind me and down the hill (who sometimes blast Tupac until 11PM) said "Is that you playing the piano?" I was like "Yeah..." and they said "That's so great, it sounds amazing!" Another neighbor echoed the same sentiment and asked if I gave lessons. I wouldn't call my playing stellar, but it was still nice to hear the compliments.

I guess a good thing I have going for me is that I am one of the few families on the block that isn't Chinese, and there does seem to be a deep cultural appreciation for piano among them.


2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Nord Stage 3 Compact | Moog Sub 37 | Behringer DeepMind 12 | Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 | Korg Prologue
Re: Neighbor stopped by...
twocats #2465715 10/02/15 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Markarian
I guess a good thing I have going for me is that I am one of the few families on the block that isn't Chinese, and there does seem to be a deep cultural appreciation for piano among them.

I work at a small community technical college (6000 students?); one of our math teachers is Asian/Japanese? I had spoken to him a few times but we never really engaged in serious conversation.

I was asked to play the piano once at our graduation ceremony. And, in spite of the fact that I made a royal mess of my playing (due to stage freight/anxiety smile ) in front of 3000 people, including all my colleges and coworkers, it came out okay, I guess.

Ever since that event, the Japanese math teacher has been extremely nice to me and we have a nice conversation every time I see him.

Not sure if that is because he appreciated my piano playing, or because I had the courage to make a fool of myself in front of 3000 people. Thing is, they invited me back the next year.

Moral of the story... (1) give it your best effort, and hope for the best. (2) Learn the value of the "art of recovery" during a performance bobble grin

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Neighbor stopped by...
Markarian #2465716 10/02/15 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Markarian
I guess a good thing I have going for me is that I am one of the few families on the block that isn't Chinese, and there does seem to be a deep cultural appreciation for piano among them.

One of those "How to tell that you're Chinese" internet questionnaires has "you play piano or violin" as one of the indicators. IT'S SO TRUE! I'm sure that the Chinese families are all looking at you as a role model for their kids: "You should be more like that Markarian, he practices until 2AM!"

Disclosure: I grew up with a Tiger Dad who made me and my sister each practice 2.5 hours a day. Punishments were extra piano practice, and any uncompleted practice rolled over to the weekend. I hated piano until I went to college and started playing chamber music.


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: Neighbor stopped by...
twocats #2465718 10/02/15 02:58 PM
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(Yes I know you were relaying your dream!)

I'm very glad that the people who live in the house behind me are horn players! They can't complain about the "noise" when I practice my Hannon for 3 hours every morning with the windows open.

(OK, I don't really play Hannon for 3 hours every morning, but since we're dreaming here. They really are horn players, though. And I listen to them practice all the time.)

Last edited by Thrill Science; 10/02/15 02:59 PM.

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Re: Neighbor stopped by...
Thrill Science #2465719 10/02/15 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Thrill Science
I'm very glad that the people who live in the house behind me are horn players! They can't complain about the "noise" when I practice my Hannon for 3 hours every morning with the windows open.

Our neighbor kid plays trumpet, I think. All summer I'd be working in the backyard and hear him playing the same Christmas Carol over and over, don't remember which one but he always got one note wrong....

Maybe that's why no one has complained about me wink


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
Re: Neighbor stopped by...
twocats #2465722 10/02/15 03:22 PM
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Twocats, I was getting angry on your behalf until I read it was just a dream. I've been fortunate in my house, my closest neighbors have actually requested that I play with the windows open. I don't oblige them because I would rather keep them wanting to hear more. But man, I still worry that someday, they'll complain because I've been playing the same few measures over and over and over. And over.


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Re: Neighbor stopped by...
Cassia #2465726 10/02/15 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Cassia
Twocats, I was getting angry on your behalf until I read it was just a dream. I've been fortunate in my house, my closest neighbors have actually requested that I play with the windows open. I don't oblige them because I would rather keep them wanting to hear more. But man, I still worry that someday, they'll complain because I've been playing the same few measures over and over and over. And over.

Thank you for your empathy wink I knew folks here would understand in a way that my real-life friends probably wouldn't!

It's sweet that your neighbors love your playing so much! Mine are probably wondering why I always play the same piece and haven't moved on to something new....


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!)
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